If the islands that you grew up on were, inch by inch, being swallowed up by a rising ocean, what would you do?  If you’re anything like former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, you’d do everything to draw attention to the issue, from underwater cabinet meetings to cut carbon emissions to becoming the unexpected superstar of the 2009 UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen.

It’s a race against time for residents of the string of islands.  With 2,000 tiny islands that stretch for over 500 miles in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are particularly vulnerable to climate change and rising ocean waters, with an average elevations of just two to eight feet above sea level.  Here’s his segment from the show:

In early Feburary, the mission of saving the Maldives got much tougher for President Nasheed. Under pressure from the island’s former dictator, he was forced to resign.   Despite being ousted, he refuses to give up his fight against the forces of climate change that threaten to destroy his island nation.

We were joined by director Jon Shenk, who documented President Nasheed’s journey to shine a light on the “real world” effects of global warming.

The Island President is playing in select cities across the country.  You can watch the trailer here:


‘Dictatorship is coming back to the Maldives and democracy is slipping away’  (The Guardian)

‘The Island President’: Mohamed Nasheed, Former Maldives Leader, Battles Climate Change (Huffington Post)

The Island President: Film Review (Slant Magazine)

Meg Robertson is a digital producer for DylanRatigan.com.